Saturday Night In Detail: Well, maybe not as much detail as I could, but hopefully I can cover the highlights.
Ever have to untangle something particularly snarled? Yarn that the kittens have gotten into, cables, holiday lights... something so entangled that you're tempted to just toss it outright?
I actually like untangling stuff like that. It's a good thing to, considering the sheer quantity of cables I've run into in my illustrious geek like career. You plod along, getting frustrated, nothing seems to be working... and then, you can see how the last few twists and turns are going to go, and you plod through those, and VOILA! It's a happy thing again.
That would neatly sum up Saturday Night with penguin_goddess and lovingstones. There were points where I misunderstood some of the points Eileen was trying to make, other places where the only promises and compromises I could make would hurt me in the process. Other points where I felt this gaping chasm in front of me, ready to suck us all down, or to frighten me away, to run screaming into the night.
I really can't say when it went from one extreme (discordian macrame) the the other (neat little coils with a few remaining knots), but by the time lavendersage got back from the hotel (they rented the hot tub room for the night) things looked at least workable.
Now, when bunnybutt called to talk to Eileen, I was in a really vulnerable place. She told me today that she wanted to apologize for "making things harder", and I tried to tell her that no apologies were necessary... It was a very important conversation, and it needed to happen, and if it was going to happen anyway, having the wonder triplets there to keep me grounded and centered made it a lot less painful than if I tried to do it alone.
I'm going to paraphrase heavily, and if I stray too far afield, I hope she will feel free to correct it. It boiled down to the hope that I could take this opportunity in my life to get myself straightened out and back onto a path of light that somehow I managed to stray from. The reasons why I strayed are complicated, and even I'm no longer sure how I managed to do it. It was a subtle and dangerous thing, and I am terrified at how close I came to fucking it ALL completely.
As it is, I may come out of this still friends with Michele (who pointed out that if she hated me, she wouldn't be essentially GIVING me the house, equity and all... since all the debt we have is in the house as well, that's one less complication to worry about), my other relationships intact (and, I'm hoping, closer together as a group), and my dreams of community and family still on the horizon, within my reach if I choose to travel to that place where it can be possible.
Somehow Kim and Eileen have found it in their hearts to forgive me. I am humbled in the face of their love, and their willingness to give me a chance to be the person I can be... warts and all.
Not that I HAVE any actual warts, mind you.
I wound up at the motel room with Kim for awhile whilst Audra and Eileen did some ritual work together, and we had a lovely soak together. E & A arrived later, and we all hung out watching the repeat of Saturday Night Live (the one with Eiljah Wood), even though Tank Girl was on another channel (I decided that it wouldn't be worth watching, as it was on broadcast TV... and that's a movie that suffers greatly from expurgation of any type).
So, since Rob and Michele were crashing in Hayweird Sunday night, Audra and I went up to the house for some connecting time. We had dinner in town at the Brew Pub, which was a very happy thing. After a lovely evening (wherein I tried to pump as much trouble shooting info about OS X as I could in preparation for the interview today as I could stand before I crashed) I brought her home, and headed to Moffet Field.
Under the category "Reasons to Arrive Early" there was some confusion as to where I was supposed to go. Fortunately, the guard on the front gate was really helpful, and I got a visitor badge (Hmmm... bondi blue iMacs with Kensington 'cams to snap pics for the badges), and proceeded to wander down the wrong road (the result of vague directions) until I got as far as that big wonking hanger (locals know which one I'm talking about... I think it housed dirigibles once upon a time. kshandra told me later she once went to an air show where they were giving hot air balloon rides INSIDE that monster) and turned myself around to backtrack to a SECOND guard gate.
From there I wandered past the supersonic wind tunnel (woo!) and some of the most bizarre architecture combinations I've ever seen. The building I was supposed to go to turned out to be a "temporary" quad wide trailer in a small group of them. I wandered about them, puzzling over the odd wooden walkways that followed no discernible pattern, until I found a door that had a white apple logo on it. Guessing that had to be the place, I went to open the door... and it opened in on itself (someone was just leaving).
It turned out I was over dressed. I wore the same tie I use in my default icon, with a simple blue button down and black cords. Fortunately, it was a Jerry Garcia tie, which earned me big points with the guy who seemed to be leading the interview ("I have a whole collection of those!")
In a nutshell, I think I did alright. The technical questions went in directions that I didn't expect, but I think I managed to convey the right sort of troubleshooting process (example question: "A group has a printer with three trays, and they want to print from tray two. However, no matter what they do, they wind up printing from the envelope tray, tray three. Using only a browser, how can you fix the problem?"* Ack!) and I think personality wise it's a good fit... I can so see myself working in this environment.
I actually felt comfortable enough at the end to use the Mars Rover joke some people suggested -- "I won't have to fix the Spirit, will I?"** It was actually worthy of a giggle all around.
So, at the worst, it was a good interview, even if I don't get the job. I should find out in the next week or so.
So it turns out Michele is spending this week crashing in Hayward, so I decided to see if the Koosh can come up for a few hours. I check in with Michele to make sure that Rob won't be put out by this, and since she IS going to be in class (and thus not home until 10ish), we go up, resolving to be out of their by no later than 9:45, so Rob (understandably wiped thanks to all the ferrying she's had to do of late) won't have to deal with us at all.
Except that Murphy LAUGHS at me, he does. What a bastard.
Literally as I approach the turn off of Highway Nine, I notice a pickup in front of me signaling to make the left turn. I note it's a Ford, and it's blue... and... No way, it CAN'T be Rob (this was at 5:45).
Turns out she was nauseous from some sort of scent issue at Mills, and had wound up vomiting several times on the way home, and so decided to blow off classes for the night. I made sure it was alright for K and me to be there, and I hope we kept a low enough profile.
While hanging out, we took some time to check out respective mail, whereupon I was seriously weirded out.
At some point Sunday night Audra had a flash that I would probably get an offer for this NASA gig, and then said that something was "in the works" where I would actually get to CHOOSE where I could work. My response to that was outright dismay... after a long drought, being forced to choose was well beyond my ability to fathom (or cope, for that matter).
Tonight I got a note from a company that specializes in anti-spam software with a set of three essay questions they use to do initial screening for potential candidates. This was a job I applied for on the 17th, so someone had to actually READ my resume to get to the point of sending me this document. As Kirsten said, "You owe Audra dinner." ***.
So now here we are... I'm home after bringing K back to San Jose, with plans to take her to Tea and Sympathy tomorrow (my very first one... oy). I should take a stab at those essay questions, because until I actually GET an offer from NASA, I'm keeping my options open. This other job is located in Silicon Alley in SF's SOMA district, which would be a bitch of a commute... but it might also pay a lot more for a job testing a product I can SO get behind. Of course, it would be a tough call... lot's of money for a good product, or a decent amount of money supporting an organization that will get us back to the moon, and onward to Mars... at least in theory?
Hell, I would SO pick NASA. I never did have a lick of sense... and how in all that's holy could I deprive my mother of the smug pride she could feel telling people where I worked?
* Since OS X is based on Unix, I hazarded a guess that you could use the browser to look at one of the daemon processes on the machine by pointing to the "local host" ip address. 127.0.0.1 is basically the universally allocated "local" address, with points to the machine you're currently using. The trick is the port number in question needs to be appended to that, and I had no clue what that would be. He commended me for being on the right track: OS X does have such a thing. If you happen to have OS X, try this link (http://127.0.0.1:631) -- port 631 connects to the built in CUPS (Common UNIX Printing System), which has some cool under the hood features to hardwire printing functionality, including, say, forcing a printer to always use tray 2 instead of 3. He demonstrated it for me on the spot, and I now will never forget it. Ah well...
** Actually, the lead interviewer responded "Actually, their uploading a new security patch right now... it's embarrassing to have the russian's hack into it like that and install NetHack." One of the other's snarked "I still think it's the European's... they're still ticked we actually got one their that works." Later, when telling gridlore about this, he laughs and says "That's it... it's stuck at the stairs!" Since I don't really play NetHack, I have no idea if that's really all that funny.
*** That's right, an amazingly rare THIRD footnote (which is why I'm showing off my HTML skills by anchoring the footnotes to and from their respective paragraphs. Ha!)! On the way to the house, Audra got to meet kshandra for the first time, thanks to a brief swing by dafydd's place. Somehow I wound up on the couch between the two of them, and they were both getting along fairly well. One less thing to fret about! Yay!